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On the Giants and Rushing to Judgment

Has Twitter ruined our sense of perspective?

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    There's little doubt that technology has made life as a sports fan more enjoyable. We have the ability to watch (or at least listen to) just about every game in every sport, we can share our thoughts about the game with people all over the globe and we can feed our hunger for sports every minute of every day on a variety of platforms. 

    But there are also downsides. Ed Valentine of Big Blue View identified one of them while writing about the way that the constant stream of information from Giants practices via Twitter can create a furor where none would have existed even two years ago. Every little injury, every new formation and every dropped pass are instantly beamed out to people who were no less fervent about the Giants when the only information came via the morning paper.

    "I guess what I'm getting at is this. Every ache and pain we hear about is not the end of the world. Every time a guy gets tried in a new spot doesn't mean it's permanent. It means it's preseason, the Giants have a new defensive coordinator, some new players and they are trying to see how the pieces fit. Every time a young player seems to take a step forward doesn't mean he will be a superstar. And every time one takes a step back doesn't mean he is a bust."

    Nice work from Valentine that's important to remember during preseasons that are a lot more public than they were when we were all falling in love with football. That's easier said than done, of course. Information travels so quickly and there are so many outlets to express your own thoughts that it becomes almost impossible to resist commenting on every little thing that comes down the pike. The forest often gets lost because of all the trees.

    That said, it's not just a flood of information that has people jittery about the Giants. Every time a Giants fan sees a tweet or post about an injury to Chris Canty or Aaron Ross, a poor practice by a linebacker or uncertainly about scheme and personnel from the coaching staff, it takes them right back to last season when those things helped sink what looked like a promising season.

    It's similar to the way Mets fans interact with their team right now. Every little thing that happens isn't in and of itself worth massive negativity about the team, but the way the pieces all fit with a well-established narrative make it hard not to jump ahead in the story because you feel like you know where it is going.

    That's not to say that the Giants will wind up like the Mets, just that these responses are conditioned over time and not just a million Chicken Littles screaming about how the sky is falling.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

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